Career Change 2016

“I guess I was just hopeful that I would figure it out.” Pete said.  Pete was a mid-thirties manager at an industrial company in New Haven county. His path from Southern Connecticut to his first job was not that different than most. He was a business major. He started searching for work during his second semester of college. He knew someone who knew someone at the company that ultimately hired him. He “didn’t like” his first job” but thought he would figure out what career he would enjoy. He got promoted.  He “didn’t like” his second job but thought he would figure out what career he would enjoy.  He got promoted again.  He “didn’t like” his third job but thought he would figure out what career he would enjoy. Then his progress stalled and the company tightened up.  He realized he never liked his job and that he never did “figure it out”.
Why hadn’t he figured it out?  The sum total of his 12 years of trying to figure it out consisted of disjointed conversations with his parents, brother, friends, and co-workers. Quick conversations but almost no follow up. He would also look at job boards to “see what was out there.” But he also did not follow through with any specific career focused job hunt.
Career exploration is the work that must be done to change careers.  It is the missing piece for what stops people from moving out of unhappy work into life affirming careers.  Career counseling is sometimes part of the work but it doesn’t have to be and is likely only as effective as the career counselor.  Nonetheless, something needs to be done to move you from 2015 career unhappiness to 2016 career bliss.  What will it be?